Honey Badger Vs Mongoose: Two Of Nature’s Most Fearless Fighters

If you want to know about the comparison between honey badgers and mongooses, then this article is highly recommended for you. Both of these animals have very unique qualities. There are also some similarities between them. For instance, both of them can resist snakes’ venom very effectively. However, there are also a lot of differences between these vicious animals.

In this article, we are going to let you know about all the differences and similarities that exist between these animals. We will also compare them based on their habitat and geographical location. After reading this article, you will be quite clear about the physical features of these animals as well as their natural instincts.

Honey Badger vs Mongoose
Honey Badger vs Mongoose

Key differences between honey badger and mongoose

If we compare these animals then we will get to know that one animal has an edge over other animals in some specific properties. For instance, the honey badger has a larger size as well as more weight while Mongoose has a much large life span. Honey badgers are also very aggressive animals that are innately solitary in nature while Mongoose like to live in social groups. Let’s have a look main differences between these animals.

CharacteristicsHoney badgerMongoose
SizeLength: 2-4 feet Weight: 10-35 poundsLength: 1 to 3 feet Weight: 1 to 10 pounds
General AppearanceBlack fur, white stripes, short tail.Black plus gray fur, long tail, stubby legs.
Lifespan7-10 years10-15 years
DietOmnivores: birds, rodents, roots, fruits.Carnivores: rodents, frogs, insects, worms.
BehaviorAggressive, solitary in nature, like to steal dens.Social in nature, release scent for communication
Habitat and locationGrasslands of Asia and Africa.Hot and tropical areas of Asia and Africa.

Size: honey badger vs mongoose

You can easily detect from a very first glance that honey badger is a very large mammal and has weigh anywhere around 10 to 35 pounds while mongoose has a small size and just a weight of 10 pounds.

However, these animals show great similarity in terms of their length. On average, the mongoose is almost 3 feet while honey badgers are 3-4 feet long. Although Mongoose has a longer tail as compared to honey badger. But they have smaller feet.

General appearance: Mongoose vs honey badger

Physically, honey badgers have a lot of differences from the mongoose. For instance, mongoose looks like weasel family members while honey badgers have a lot of similarities with skunks. Honey badgers come with black coarse fur with white stripes on their face while mongooses have brown plus gray color fur with very long but very skinny bodies.

Moreover, if honey badgers have longer legs then mongooses have very long tails as compared to honey badgers. If you compare them physically then it is much better to compare them based on skunks and weasel families if you want to have a crystal clear idea about their appearances.

Location and habitat

Both of these animals are mainly found in the Asian and African regions. They like to live in a dry but hot climate. Mongooses like to climb trees and swim in the water while honey badgers like to spend their time in the grasslands. Honey badgers are also nocturnal and they only come out in the nighttime. There are many chances that the animals would eventually encounter each other as both share the same territories.

Natural Instinct

Many differences exist based on their behavior and natural instincts. Honey badger is very aggressive by nature while mongoose is a calm and shy animal. Mongooses like to live in social groups while honey badgers are very solitary in nature. Honey badgers only like to engage with each other when they mate.

Both of these animals are good in terms of digging. Honey badgers like to live in different dens and some of them are built by other badgers or animals. They also like to steal the dens of others. But mongoose is devoid of this greedy nature. Mongoose doesn’t emit stinky musk and they also like to release these smells for communication purpose while honey badgers mainly emit musk as a warning sign for opponents.

Both of these animals are very venomous and poisonous in nature. They like to eat venomous snakes. They also show great immunity against the venom of a snake. It has been proved by the years of research on these animals. It is actually a very powerful natural quality that both of these animals exhibit which is also extremely good for their safety in the wilderness.

Life span: Mongoose vs honey badger

The main difference between honey badgers and mongoose is in terms of their life span. Both of these animals live very much longer in captivity as compared to the wilderness. Mongoose has an average life span of 10 to 15 years while honey badger has an average life span of 7 to 10 years in the wilderness.

However, mongooses live at least 25 years in captivity while honey badgers live at least 20 years in captivity. The longer life span of mongoose is actually due to the extra protection they are provided by them from their social groups while honey badgers like to live and fight alone.


If you are smart enough then you can also win the fight even if you are weak in terms of strength. If we talk about honey badger, we can say it is a fairly intelligent mammal. It can escape entrapment and build a ladder with the help of rocks. On the other hand, Mongoose is also not very smart but are fairly intelligent mammals. They also have multiple skills which they mainly deploy during the fight. Overall, the honey badger has an edge over the mongoose in terms of smartness.

Hunting skills

Mongooses: masters of taking down venomous prey
Mongooses: masters of taking down venomous prey.

By nature, both animals are very aggressive. They could even attack humans but it is very unusual. Honey badgers like to hide behind cover before attacking their prey. Sometimes, they also block the dens and burrows of animals to catch them and kill them. Honey badgers are omnivores but prefer to eat mammals rather than fruits. In the worst-case scenario, they could also rely on fruits, vegetables, etc.

Honey badgers also act very dirtily while fighting. They like to strike below the belt while fighting. First, they check the endurance of their opponents and then tire them out, and eventually declare a victory by giving a final blow.

On the other hand, Mongoose is purely a carnivore animal and preferably eats only animals. They mostly rely on their speed in trapping their opponents. They have a very thick hide and show great resistance against the venom. That’s why they also like to kill and eat snakes. Source.

Both of these animals also like to challenge very large opponents they face. For instance, sometimes they also encounter big animals like lions, hyenas, etc. In this case, they got killed or escape from the fight in a very tricky manner.

See our article for: Honey Badger Vs Komodo Dragon


Indeed, honey badgers and mongoose are very thick and tough animals but they also have some weaknesses. For instance, the honey badger does a lot of gorging until they are not able to walk properly. In this case, they reduce their immunity and opponents find this opportunity to break them completely and use them as their prey.

Despite having a very big size, there are also a lot of weaknesses also exist in their bodies. The claws and jaws of the badger gradually become weak over time or with excessive usage of these body parts.

Frequently asked questions

No, mongoose single-handedly could not kill honey badger as honey badger has an edge over them in several aspects of life. However, if Mongoose attack in groups, then they could overpower or kill honey badgers.

YouTube video
Honey Badger VS Mongoose: Brute force vs agility, who will claim victory?

Mongoose has a natural rivalry against enemies especially cobras. They use their special skills like agility as well as speed while fighting with a cobra. However, they are not immune enough against snakes like honey badgers which show great immunity against snake venom. Sometimes, they also got killed in this fight and the favorite food of the cobra is also mongoose.

There are several predators of mongoose like hawks, leopards, snakes, jackals, etc. Snakes mainly kill mongoose for their own protection as they feel threatened when mongoose come near them. There are also some snakes like black mamba who don’t even eat them after killing these animals. But pythons have a lot of interest in eating mongoose.


Honey badgers and mongooses have a lot of similarities between them but some differences also exist between them. We have explained these differences very well in a very comprehensive manner. You can easily analyze these animals once you go through this article. I hope it helps you in the best manner.

Izzy foxx on a vet tour in africa

Izzy Foxx

Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.

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